Celiac disease isn't just a food sensitivity – it's an autoimmune disease that damages the lining of your intestine if you eat anything containing gluten. With help from the board-certified physicians at Gotham Gastroenterology, you can manage celiac disease and live a full, healthy life. At their locations throughout New York City in the Midtown East and Financial District neighborhoods of Manhattan, New York, and Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, the Gotham Gastroenterology team provides expert assessment and care for patients with celiac disease. Call the office nearest you today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that means you can't tolerate a protein called gluten. It could affect as many as two million people in the United States.
Celiac disease causes your immune system to attack the lining of your small intestine, which results in a reduction in your ability to absorb nutrients from your food. This happens only when you consume products containing gluten.
Gluten is the substance in wheat, barley, and rye grains that gives bread dough its elastic qualities. Gluten is also in many other products, including some medications, vitamins, and processed foods, as well as unexpected places like the glue on stamps and envelopes.
Celiac disease affects people in different ways, so symptoms are wide and varied but could include:
Having these symptoms doesn't necessarily mean you have celiac disease; equally, you could have celiac disease and not experience these symptoms. Celiac disease symptoms often resemble those of other conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn's disease.
To diagnose celiac disease, your provider at Gotham Gastroenterology takes a blood test to check for high levels of the autoantibodies that are typically present in celiac disease.
If your blood test comes back positive, you need to undergo an upper endoscopy to obtain a sample of tissue (biopsy) from your small intestine. This is important to assess the degree of damage to the lining of your small intestine.
The primary treatment for celiac disease is to follow a strict gluten-free diet, which will help protect your small intestine. In many patients who have celiac disease, just a tiny amount of gluten is enough to cause intestinal damage, even when you aren't experiencing symptoms.
Celiac disease isn't curable, but after adopting a gluten-free diet for about two years, your small intestine should heal. That means it returns to normal function and absorbs nutrients properly; however, it doesn't mean that you can start eating gluten again.
The expert team at Gotham Gastroenterology can provide you with everything you need to know about following a gluten-free diet. As gluten is present in so many foods, it's vital to get professional dietary advice to ensure you're eating a balanced diet.
If you have symptoms of celiac disease or you're concerned about your digestive health, call Gotham Gastroenterology today or book an appointment online.